Updated: 24/03/17 : 07:35:04
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Rural areas lose out in Ulster Bank closure

Ballymote based Councillor Keith Henry has reacted to the news that the Ballymote Ulster Bank is one of the 22 branches announced to close. Speaking on the matter he said "This is a sad day for Ballymote and the other 17 rural towns that will lose another vital service in the community. The Ballymote branch has served customers and businesses in the town and surrounding areas for decades".

"Certainly to the naked eye the Bank always seemed to be busy with a constant flow of people going through the doors and I'm sure their customers are at a loss to know why their branch had to close.

"The Chief Executive of the bank has used the increase in online banking activity as an excuse to close these branches and while this is be true for some people, not everyone has, wants or knows how to access online banking" the Fianna Fail Councillor said.

"I can only hope that the customers of Ulster Bank rally behind staff in the branch to resist this change. Some of this staff may be facing redundancy as over 220 employees are to be laid off as part of the process. If this closure goes ahead it poses a number of problems in that businesses and customers cannot do simple transactions such as lodgements and withdrawals locally. These people are then going to have to go to the likes of Sligo and local shops may lose out as a result.

"Just like post offices, Garda Stations and family owned shops, Banks were a pillar in the local small town community and this trend of closures across rural Ireland is a rapidly growing worry that needs urgent attention at local and national level" Cllr Henry concluded.